Pastor’s Desk.

“This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts of the Apostles chapter 1 verse 11[b].

It seems we have spent 12 months just waiting. Waiting to get out of a Lockdown, waiting to have a haircut, waiting for the ‘R’ number to come down and waiting for certain dates on the route map out of the pandemic.

There is a lot of waiting in the Bible too. After Adam was told about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus we have many hundreds of years. The Jewish people while slaves in Egypt had to wait 400 years before they could leave and go to the promised land. Jesus had to wait 30 years before He began His public ministry. The disciples waited 3 days before the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; then a further 50 days before with the power of the Holy Spirit they preached the Gospel to the world.

The Christian Church is still waiting for something else to take place and that is the return of Jesus Christ as the King and Lord of all.

Are you prepared for the return of Jesus?

From the pastor’s desk.

Micah 5:2.

Little Bethlehem smallest of the towns of Judah – from you came the Lord Jesus, He who would be ruler over Israel. Jesus of course is much more than that. He is ruler and Lord of all.

This verse is an encouragement to the smallest of churches, smallest of ministries; for out of them can come something big and of eternal value for the Kingdom of God. The Bible tells us that we are not to despise the day of small things, but out of acorns a mighty oak can grow.

From a word the creation came into existence. God said and it was. Jesus spoke “Lazarus come forth” and the dead man became alive once more. God could well speak another word, “It is finished!” and the earth would dissolve, fallen creation simply melt away.

Then God could say another word, and the church which seems so weak, vulnerable and frail would become a mighty sword in God’s hand to the destruction of the devil’s kingdom.

O Lord do this for your little church here at Saltford. May it be a true sword in the hand of King Jesus. Amen.

A Mouse Story…

In the autumn I was weeding the veg patch and this small field mouse was trying its utmost to get into the compost bin via the little door. It was throwing itself at the door, about 15cm off the ground, chewing for all it was worth for 3 or 4 minutes then slumping to the floor in exhaustion. After a rest it would have another go and I watched it have about 10 attempts, each lasting about 3 – 4 minutes before it gave up. I guessed it might be a Mummy mouse looking for somewhere to build a nest for winter.

Today I was emptying the compost bin and to my horror realised I had disturbed a nest of these field mice. I had sliced off the side, showing a tiny furry baby mouse, blind I think and barely able to move. Shortly after, Mummy mouse appeared around the side of the diminishing compost heap to assess the threat level to her nest and brood. Deciding it was red alert, she legged it.

Shortly afterwards one of the babies fell out of the nest. What was I going to do now? Clearly it couldn’t survive, as Mummy mouse had gone. I carefully scooped it up and placed it under the fence. A couple of minutes later out of the corner of my eye, a flash of movement as Mummy mouse picked up her offspring by the scruff of the neck and scurried off with it next door.

Two more babies ended up falling out so I put those in the same place. Sure enough, a couple of minutes later each time, Mummy mouse retrieved her offspring. We put the un-rotted compost back in the bin and really hope the family will come back to their home. Shouldn’t be disturbed again until next year.

I really thought that Mummy muse had abandoned her babies to save her own skin, but I was dead wrong. She put her own life in danger to collect each of her babies. Sometimes we think God doesn’t care that much when we go through difficult times, also dead wrong. Sometimes he allows us to get into a difficult situation so that we pray more and seek his face. It’s usually through trials that we prove how much he really does love us.

Quotable Quotes.

Some more quotes from J.C.Ryle.

“Humility is the very first letter in the Christian alphabet. We must begin low, if we would build high.”

“The Old Testament is the Gospel in bud. The New Testament is the Gospel in bloom.”

“A firm faith in the universal providence of God is the solution of all earthly troubles.” [B.B. Warfield]

“There must not only be the work of Christ for us, but the work of the Holy Spirit in us. There must be not only a title to heaven by the blood of Christ, but a preparedness for heaven wrought in us by the Spirit of Christ.”

J.C Ryle

From The Pastor’s Desk.

15.02.21.

A book to read;

“All things are possible with God.” by Maureen Wise.

For some years Maureen has been a missionary to Moldova and she writes that she was only a witness of God’s powerful work in that country. This is an amazing read which will remind us that the God we truly love is an all powerful God who does mighty things.

We ought to read a book like this, especially in the world in which we live, because with the little that seems to be taking place in our churches, our great need is get a great view of our great God.

09.02.21.

Philippians chapter 4:6. “Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” [NKJV]

We are living in anxious times and even the most laid back of individuals are finding ‘Lockdown life’ stressful.

We worry and worry, but what can we do? Often we can do nothing, we are not in control of events and circumstances.

However we know God is always in control. Everything is according to His will. It has to be so or otherwise He is not God. So the word of God tells us to be “Anxious for nothing”; God’s word then tells us to bring all our anxieties to God in prayer.

There is however another interesting part to this verse we are to bring our prayers to God, “With thanksgiving”. Do really do that? Or do we simply complain to Him?

In thinking of this text there are 4 words from the previous verse that have been a great help to me as I come to the Lord in my anxiety and they are “The Lord is near.” [my translation]. How good it is to know that the Lord is always near; that He is alongside us in our anxious times and always ready to listen to our less than perfect prayers.

01.02.21.

“Humility is needed before the Word and the world.” – [Robert Sheehan]

Last Wednesday [27.01.21] we looked at the subject of “What is the purpose of suffering?

Here are 6 positive things we discovered from the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter who on many occasions faced death.

1] Sickness gives us time to renew our lives.

Is there anything in our lives that needs to be confessed or something that needs to be done? Are our consciences clear before God and man?

2] Sickness gives us time to renew our faith in Christ.

With the busyness of life and the urgency of responsibilities, we can sadly ignore our Saviour.

3] Sickness gives us time to renew and commit to memory some of the promises of God from His Word.

Here are some of those precious Scripture texts:-

Psalm 23; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 8:12; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:1-2; Revelation 14:3.

4] Do not misunderstand the purposes of sickness.

a] For Paul it was to humble him. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

b] To loosen our grip on this world and to strengthen our hold on Christ.

c] To overcome our natural unwillingness to die and to welcome the prospect of heaven.

At this point Baxter posed the question; “Would you chose your loved ones over Christ?” – now that requires some serious thought on our part.

5] Sickness gives us time to consider the glory of Heaven.

6] Sickness gives us time to consider the blessedness and the joy of the saints [and the angels] who are now in Christ.

Our chief joy will obviously be Christ Jesus our Lord; but let us not forget the great crowd of witnesses that have gone on before us.

“Think of that blessed company whose tears have been wiped away, whose burdens have been lifted and whose fears have been replaced with a peace that passes all human understanding.”